Sunday, June 12, 2011

A (relatively) quick observation...

Those who insist on upholding the sanctity of human life also tend to be the ones who don't mind if a longer life means more suffering.  Are you looking for an abortion because you were raped or the fetus is missing something rather important, like most of its lungs?  Tough, you're just going to have to give birth anyway, because human life is so sacred that it should have to suffer as much as possible before it dies; an excruciating death by suffocation is vastly preferable to a relatively quick death in the womb, and being forced to bear your rapist's child is a fitting punishment for whatever you did to deserve being raped in the first place.  Want the right to determine the time and circumstances of your own death because you've got Alzheimer's and you want to leave this world before the disease completely consumes your mind?  Not a chance; your life is sacred, so you're just going to have to suffer through the whole damn thing, and your family will be forced to watch your heartbreaking decline.  Are you in so much physical pain that you need large doses of painkillers just to make you even halfway comfortable?  Well, you're not going to get nearly enough because even if you're terminally ill, it's wrong to hasten your death like that.  Human life is sacred.  You'll just have to suffer until you die.

Life is sacred.  That doesn't mean, however, that honouring that sacredness means that life has to be preserved at all costs in all situations.  To do so robs people of their dignity and makes them suffer in ways that wouldn't even be considered necessary if it weren't for the religious excuses that are so often held up as reasons to make it happen.  And honouring the sanctity of life doesn't necessarily mean the preservation of Earthly existence; sometimes, when the most compassionate thing to do is to let that life end, or to cause it to end, then honouring the sanctity of life means accepting the reality of death.

"Everything that has a beginning has an end."
—The Oracle, "The Matrix Revolutions"

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